[Tutorial] How to Come Up with Your First Tripwire Idea

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  • AutoGrow.co makes an extra $9,000 per year right now with one simple tripwire idea.
  • This article includes easy-to-follow ideas for generating your own money-making tripwire.

What’s up everyone? Welcome to another edition of 10-Minute #MattHacks, where in 10 minutes or less, I give you one awesome tip for how to be better at digital marketing while accelerating your creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.

My name is Matt Ackerson and I’m the founder of AutoGrow.co. The problem that we’re addressing today is looking for ways to more effectively sell your core offer. A proven solution from my own experience, as you’ll see, is the tripwire.

Bringing in an additional $10,000 or more in passive income per year from selling a low-dollar value tripwire, such as an eBook priced between $5 to $20, is great. The problem that a tripwire really helps to solve for you is selling your core offer more efficiently.

Why does it do that? Because the whole purpose of the tripwire is to get some flow going on between you and your prospective customer or a client, where money is being exchanged for value. It works to build that relationship and trust so that when it comes time to offer your core product, they are more likely to say yes.

However, you may be wondering, “How do I come up with my first tripwire idea? What’s going to work? Is this going to work? Is this going to be enough?”

In this video, I’m going to show you how to find those ideas, and I’m going to tell you how I found our first idea for a tripwire. It’s actually easier than you think.

My Own Tripwire Idea

Let me give you a quick story.

During the summer of 2017, we launched the Six-Figure Sales Funnel, our newest flagship info product. From doing that, I noticed that in the middle of the launch, there were a lot of different moving parts. During the second week, we added bonuses to the mix.

One of the bonuses was a very detailed swipe file with all kinds of examples that I have personally been compiling for a very long time. They were for my own personal use, but I thought, “Oh, why not? We’ll add it in as a third bonus.”

It was interesting because we started getting emails asking about it, saying, “I love it, but I don’t have the money for the full course. Can I buy the swipe file separately?”

That got me to thinking.

So come the end of 2017, I said, “It’s time I actually implement this, because we’re going to become a products-focused business.” I really have to practice what we preach if we’re going to be teaching this stuff.

I looked around at our existing product line and said, “What can we turn into a swipe file? I remember people had emailed us asking specifically about this swipe file, let’s try that.” It’s a ton of examples. I think it’s worth at least $7.

So we put up the $7 price on it, then we created a nice landing page. The graphics weren’t perfect, but we put it up. This worked very, very well, and people have been very happy from buying that.

When it started out, we were doing about an extra three grand a year from it. Now, we’re at the point where we’re doing an extra $9,000 a year from it. I’m pretty sure we’re going to surpass an extra $10,000 in passive income from the tripwire.

While that’s great, it’s not about the money because we were looking to practice what we preached and more importantly, we wanted a way to better engage with potential customers to move them into our funnel so they would consider our core offer.

How to Come Up with Your First Tripwire Idea

Now, let’s talk about some ideas for how you can think of your own tripwire that will convert. What I sense from a lot of people I have spoken with, and who have emailed in questions, they ask, “What about this idea or that idea? I don’t know if it’s of enough value or if this is going to actually sell?”

Here are some ideas that have been proven to work.

You already know a swipe file is a working idea because it works for us. I’ve seen it work for other businesses as well.

Another good idea for a tripwire is selling something that’s templated. Whether it’s a package of landing page templates, or just some sort of resource.

For example, we’re actually working on our second tripwire idea right now called the Funnel Template Pack. It’s going to be a combination of funnel diagrams that’s kind of like a reference swipe file, but also something you can plug into your business. It’s going to have these funnel diagrams and some fill-in-the-blank landing page templates, and copywriting fill-in-the-blank headline formulas as well.

Keep that in mind as I’m telling you these ideas, because you can kind of mix and match a little bit too if you want. You can combine some things if you’re worried there’s not enough value, or if you want to create something a little more unique.

Templates work well. eBooks are very standard, and people are a little more cynical about these, so they don’t work as well.

I would recommend you go with something that’s a little more action-oriented that people can really plug into their business, that’s going to save time or be a great reference resource for them, like a swipe file or a template.

If you’re a SaaS business, consider doing a paid trial if you’re weary of offering a free trial, or you just want to make sure you’re getting quality leads for the full paid version in the door.

A paid trial is something that I see working very well for a company like Ahrefs, which is an SEO tool for monitoring how many links you have, where you rank on Google and how to get more links.

If you’re selling physical products, we worked with a cosmetics company last year. What we found worked for them right off the bat was a free plus shipping tripwire.

Now, what does that mean? It means they were doing face treatments for acne and they decided to give away one of their little bottles of cream. They would give it away for free, but the customer had to pay the cost of shipping.

This can work really well for physical books as well. If you’re in services, consider the idea of a Project Blueprint. Some call it a road map.

This was an idea that I learned a long time ago from a friend of mine, Brennan Dunn over at Double your Freelancing. I tried it out for our business where I found that we were selling $5,000+ packages.

I was tired of making proposal after proposal at the time. I said, “What’s a better way to not have to do all this work?”

It takes skill to put this proposal together. How do I find better quality leads? What am I doing wrong? So I came across this idea and I called it our Project Blueprint. We started selling them for $100 each.

The idea was that a client would call us and talk to us on the phone a little bit, and we would sell them on this $100 Project Blueprint. We would explain it because they might push back and be like, “Oh, am I just paying you to pitch me, like come on, let’s get real here.”

The truth was, and as I explained to them, it takes time and skill to prepare this proposal because I customize each one, and because I’m looking at and identifying all the issues. It was about funnel optimization and identifying the issues there and recommending the specific solutions at every stage of their funnel, and how we were going to implement this custom solution for their business.

So, once they heard that, it went over a lot of people and we started selling them rapidly to the point where we raised the price to $300. I still think of that as a tripwire, mainly because relative to a $5,000+ price point which we were charging, it’s a low barrier to entry and it’s delivering value.

Again, the idea of a tripwire is to get that money flowing because that helps to build trust and it really starts off the relationship with the customer with less perceived risk. They can really sample your services and receive some benefit in exchange for the money they give you.

Now here’s a good quote from IMPACT Marketing that I found on their blog. I just wanted to include it in here because I think it’s useful for you to consider when you’re picking your tripwire idea.

The quote is, “If the perceived value of your tripwire isn’t higher than your price, your leads won’t be interested. For this reason, many companies choose to give away their tripwire for free. (i.e., a free trial or a free plan.)”

I think this brings up a good point. It’s really important that the perceived value be higher or significantly higher than the dollar value you’re offering. In the case of a swipe file for example, what I did was I bring together all these examples, from landing pages to pricing pages and checkout pages, banner ads and pop-ups. I mean, it really runs the gamut.

For someone to actually go around and have to find that themselves, it would take them a long, long time. I think that’s why it’s selling so well, because people really see that curated value in it.

Now, if you want more examples that will get the creative juices flowing, check out the blog post that we wrote, “10 Tripwire Examples That’ll Inspire You to Create Your Own.” In that, you’re going to find 10 different examples of physical products, like Vistaprint selling business cards as their tripwire, info products and of course our own example. We also get into a little more detail on tripwires involving jewelry, nutrition bars, info products and even Square.

You can also read a few case studies on tripwires, such as this one from personal development resource TigerFreedom or this one from Authority Hacker.

One Action to Take

The one action I want you to take is to grab a piece of paper and a pen directly after this video. Write down five ideas for a tripwire. Think about what customers or clients might have said to you in the past that may be a clue about what they would actually like to buy to sample your product or service. Remember, from their point of view, it should be relatively low-risk.

Thanks for watching. If you’re ready to take it to the next level and keep in touch and not miss another #MattHack, I recommend you click on the link directly below this video on YouTube if you’re watching there. Make sure to hit the subscribe button.

If you’re watching this on the blog, be sure to click the link directly below this video to subscribe to our daily newsletter for more great #MattHacks. So tune in next time, when I talk about the Law of Visibility, you’re not going to want to miss that. Until next time, my name is Matt Ack in the Matt hat, delivering you your daily dose of #MattHacks. Talk to you soon.

For more information on increasing traffic, download Matt’s 22-Point Perfect Blog Post Checklist or invest in our new Rocket Content course, which is currently discounted.

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